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Flights From SEA To Asia  
User currently offlineRwSEA From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 3081 posts, RR: 2
Posted (8 years 4 months 14 hours ago) and read 3493 times:

SEA has a long and varied history of service to Asia. Destinations have come and go (including KIX, HKG, PVG, and others).

However, in the past couple years we have seen two new carriers from Asia (CI and KE), and now have the following flights to Asia:

NRT: NW, UA
TPE: BR, CI
ICN: KE, OZ

Generally speaking, how are the above services doing to Asia? How profitable is SEA-NRT for NW and UA? CI and BR have both added frequencies so TPE must be doing well (I've read on this forum that the SEA portion of the flight generally performs better than the IAH portion). How about ICN? KE recently added frequency, and it seems the new flight is going well. Finally, do these flights see many connecting passengers (e.g. passengers connecting from SLC to KE on a DL code share?)

In short, is SEA a profitable destination from Asia?

16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9510 posts, RR: 52
Reply 1, posted (8 years 4 months 13 hours ago) and read 3467 times:

I would assume that most traffic to SEA is O/D. There aren't very good connections despite SEA's great location. Alaska has a lot of flights and definitely connects people onto international flights, but the lack of single airline connections hurts the route.

I have definitely seen a lot of people fly DEN-SEA-NRT as it is a continuation of the same flight and you can even fly a 777 for the entire route.

Seattle has many businesses and is one of the wealthiest cities in the country. Also there is a huge immigrant population from Asian. Immigrants not only generate travel on their own, but they spur businesses to grow that often cause more travel demand. SEA might never be like LAX or SFO because it is much smaller, but it still can support a fair amount of international service.

Now what SEA really needs is some more variety in airlines. CX, SQ, JL, NH and so many more don't serve SEA. I am sure there will be more destinations coming and going. It is really interesting though that the three routes that have nonstop service all have two airlines going head to head whereas other routes have no service.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineRwSEA From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 3081 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (8 years 4 months 13 hours ago) and read 3441 times:

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 1):
Now what SEA really needs is some more variety in airlines. CX, SQ, JL, NH and so many more don't serve SEA. I am sure there will be more destinations coming and going. It is really interesting though that the three routes that have nonstop service all have two airlines going head to head whereas other routes have no service.

If NW can stay in business and eventually take delivery of the 787, it wouldn't be too surprising to see KIX and HKG come back. In fact, KIX had been rumored to return prior to NW filing Chapter 11.


User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9510 posts, RR: 52
Reply 3, posted (8 years 4 months 12 hours ago) and read 3413 times:

Quoting RwSEA (Reply 2):
In fact, KIX had been rumored to return prior to NW filing Chapter 11.

When was the last time they operated SEA-KIX? I know they have put DC10s on that route before. They have also routed passengers via HNL I believe, but that is way out of the way.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineRwSEA From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 3081 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (8 years 4 months 12 hours ago) and read 3401 times:

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 3):
When was the last time they operated SEA-KIX? I know they have put DC10s on that route before. They have also routed passengers via HNL I believe, but that is way out of the way.

I believe SEA-KIX was dropped either in the late 1990s or early 2000. It was operated with a DC-10 right up until the end. I also know that around 1995 or 1996 NW wanted to start routing the flight SEA-KIX-Jakarta, but I believe that they couldn't get the necessary approval, and when they finally did, they opted not to fly the route because of Asia's economic problems.


User currently offlineCXA330300 From South Africa, joined May 2004, 1560 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (8 years 4 months 9 hours ago) and read 3310 times:

Does AS have any plans to order new a/c to start Hawaii or Transpacific Routes? SEA is in a great position for connections.


The sky is the limit as long as you can stay there
User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9510 posts, RR: 52
Reply 6, posted (8 years 4 months 9 hours ago) and read 3284 times:

Quoting CXA330300 (Reply 5):
Does AS have any plans to order new a/c to start Hawaii or Transpacific Routes? SEA is in a great position for connections.

Hawaii flights are definitely possible since the new 737-800s will be ETOPS equipped for overwater operations. I haven't heard of anything specifically, but it is possible.

As far as Transpacific routes, Seattle is in a great location to launch them since it is the closest city in the lower 48 to Asia and is an efficient connection airport, however Alaska won't be starting those operations any decade soon. They have a very conservative management that has slowly grown the airline for the past 20 years. Asia would be a huge risk and AS isn't in a position to take that risk. They can rely upon all of their codeshare partners for long haul routes.

AS is the perfect airline for Seattle. It has a large enough network that can serve most large airports in the country and fly everywhere on the west coast, yet they don't have a burden of an artificially large hub with loss making flights. With this type of operation, international flights will be mostly O/D.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineWj From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 345 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 4 months 6 hours ago) and read 3213 times:

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 1):
I would assume that most traffic to SEA is O/D. There aren't very good connections despite SEA's great location. Alaska has a lot of flights and definitely connects people onto international flights, but the lack of single airline connections hurts the route.

That's not entirely true. AS and NW have always had a very good feed system. Especialy in the summer, traffic from Japan and HKG connects in Seattle and it's not uncommomn to have entire flights on the SEA-ANC run that are all tourists from Asia. I think most of them find the connection in Seattle quite easy and preferable to any at LAX or SFO.



146,727,732,733,734,735,73G,738,739,742,743,744,752,753,762,763,764,772,300,310,319,320,321,330,343,DC9,D10,MD11,M80,E17
User currently offlineCtbarnes From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3491 posts, RR: 50
Reply 8, posted (8 years 4 months 6 hours ago) and read 3195 times:

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 1):
There aren't very good connections despite SEA's great location. Alaska has a lot of flights and definitely connects people onto international flights, but the lack of single airline connections hurts the route.

AS and QX both do codeshares, particularly for NW. Since NW put the A-330's on the route, they have been running the connecting traffic through to their PDX-NRT route, keeping the Seattle flight mostly for O&D.

UA's NRT flight has become pretty much O&D now, but it was not that way in the past. In the past, SEA has been something of a mini-hub for UA, where they were able to feed passengers to their pacific flights. Loss of the SEA-NRT in the late 80's was the beginning of the end in terms of a big UA presence. Also, with newer aircraft, airlines could fly nonstop to the midwest and the East without having to make an intermediate stop, which was one reason SEA was chosen. It was a shorter flying time than SFO or LAX. (ANC felt this problem even more acutely; it was an intermediate stop for european airlines traveling between their home base and the far east back when you couldn't overfly the Soviet Union).

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 1):
Now what SEA really needs is some more variety in airlines. CX, SQ, JL, NH and so many more don't serve SEA.

I've heard rumors off and on NH may start flying either to KIX or NGO from Seattle. NRT is pretty much tapped out in terms of capacity but there may be money to be made through these other Japanese cities.

I'd love to see SQ or CX serve Seattle, but until someone finds a way to make money flying to SE Asia I'm not sure this will happen. Both UA (first with a DC-10 then with a 747-SP) and NW (admittedly with a 742) have tried SEA-HKG, and neither have been able to make it pay. CX had, at one point, decided to serve SEA through YVR, but pulled out at the last minute, and JL needed the slot to NRT it had out of SEA for more profitable services elsewhere.

Charles, SJ



The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
User currently offlineThomasphoto60 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3923 posts, RR: 23
Reply 9, posted (8 years 4 months 6 hours ago) and read 3186 times:

Quoting RwSEA (Thread starter):
(I've read on this forum that the SEA portion of the flight generally performs better than the IAH portion)

I was under the impession that this was doing well. Any info on loads from this service?

Thomas



"Show me the Braniffs"
User currently offlineThaiaggie From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 230 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (8 years 4 months 5 hours ago) and read 3153 times:

THAI used to fly BKK-NRT-SEA and BKK-TPE-SEA and continue to DFW/YYZ back in the 80s with 747-200


Barrow, Alaska in Feb. It was Cold!
User currently offlineHeeseokKoo From South Korea, joined Jan 2005, 635 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (8 years 4 months 4 hours ago) and read 3110 times:

Quoting RwSEA (Thread starter):
KE recently added frequency

Moreover, OZ will add 1/w more from late July. Then both carrier flies SEA-ICN 4 times a week with 772. I think they are doing pretty well.


User currently offlinePavlovsDog From Norway, joined Sep 2005, 657 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (8 years 4 months 4 hours ago) and read 3102 times:

What was the Shanghai flight you mentioned? I hadn't heard of that.

Didn't Seattle once have a flight to Manilla? Northwest maybe?


User currently offlineGunsontheroof From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 3500 posts, RR: 10
Reply 13, posted (8 years 4 months 3 hours ago) and read 3078 times:

SEA-FUK service on NH has been rumored for quite awhile. I wouldn't be surprised to have this materialize over the next year or two, especially given Fukuoka's role in 787 manufacturing. I also expect that service between Seattle and mainland China isn't far off either.


Next Flight: 9/17 BFI-BFI
User currently offlineTod From Denmark, joined Aug 2004, 1724 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (8 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3020 times:

Quoting RwSEA (Thread starter):
How profitable is SEA-NRT for NW

Can't say if they are making money, but both my trips this years were totally full.

Quoting Ctbarnes (Reply 8):
NW (admittedly with a 742) have tried SEA-HKG, and neither have been able to make it pay. CX had, at one point, decided to serve SEA through YVR,

I usually just drive up to YVR when going to HKG on CX because I live an hour north of SEA anyway, but other guys just hop the quick QX flight SEA-YVR. A direct flight from SEA would be nice, but YVR is pretty close by. The only hassle can be returning through United States Customs by car can be time consuming and a drag after a long travel day.

Tod

Tod


User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9510 posts, RR: 52
Reply 15, posted (8 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 2988 times:

Quoting Gunsontheroof (Reply 13):
SEA-FUK service on NH has been rumored for quite awhile. I wouldn't be surprised to have this materialize over the next year or two, especially given Fukuoka's role in 787 manufacturing.

SEA-FUK would be an interesting route. Couldn't NH fly that route with a 767? I would have thought that KIX-SEA or NGO-SEA are more likely.

What I would like to see is an airline try flying SEA-Japan on a 767. AC flies 767s to Japan from YVR. It isn't actually a very long flight since Japan is about the same distance from SEA as Europe is. 777s, DC10s and 747s seem to have too much capacity for flights to cities other than NRT. Of course all the routes from SEA to Asia use to be on 747s yet now only Eva still flies the 747.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineCtbarnes From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3491 posts, RR: 50
Reply 16, posted (8 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2913 times:

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 15):
747s yet now only Eva still flies the 747.

True, but it's a combi. My guess is that cargo they carry goes a long way towards making the route profitable for BR.

Charles, SJ



The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
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